Managing lines underway

Moderator: GreenLake

Managing lines underway

Postby hectoretc » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:50 am

I've read posts and seen pictures on this board about people using mesh net bags to "contain" their halyards so they are lying loose and disorganized in the cockpit. As I visualize the boat under sail, the line that would seem to become one of the longer, more critical but also more tangleable is the mainsheet, followed closesly by the jib sheet. Depending on how I end up rigging it, I can see that at least the mainsheet will need to be quite long to allow full boom extension (probably the wrong word) to the sides but also will spend at least half if not more of the time drawn in so there will be a dozen or more feet piled at the base of the centerboard housing. I've read and have internalized that you always sail with the sheet line(s) in your hand "just in case" but when you need to quickly release the sheet, that's when you have the most line to let out and the best opportunity for wayward knots to cause the most grief (I should think). I've see the "photo op" pictures of decks with their loose lines nicely flat coiled (there's probably a word for that too) but can't imagine someone actually does that under sail every time they thighten a line unless you have a crew with nothing to do. How do most people manage the loose ends of their lines? (sheet for sure, but all lines as a matter of practice) - Thanks
DS #6127 - Breakin' Wind - From the land of 10,000 lakes, which spend 80% of the year frozen it seems...
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:34 pm

I only use the mesh bags for the halyards, and for the jib downhaul when the jib is down. Occasionally I'll stuff the dock line in there too. The halyards are fed into the bags in such a manner that they will pay back out freely in case I need to drop sail fast (sort of a "figure 8" thing).

The jib sheet ends just kinda lay draped across the CB trunk, or lay on the seats below the cleats. I also make sure the lazy sheet is not anywhere near the mast hinge, but just lying loosely on the cuddy top around the front of the mast, so it won't get caught on the next tack. I have a deflector thingy on there, but the sheet can also get caught on the halyard cleat (the only drawback to those combo block/cleats that I've seen so far), so it's best to just keep it clear.

Yes, the mainsheet stays in hand at all times, and is draped loosely over the knee, with the running end visually checked to make sure it's lying on the sole in such a way that it can feed out smoothly, with no kinks, loops, or knots in it ...
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Postby Scott Mulford » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:42 pm

I always thought disentangling the anchor rode from the mainsheet was part of the joy of sailing.

Halyards I tame by coiling the extra and then tucking it behind the taut line next to the cleat.

Jibsheets and mainsheets I think to trim only when they are a mess, but otherwise trip and stumble over them most of the time. A quick coil only to find them wrapped around my ankles after the first gybe. If alone I work on cussing like a sailor, if I have 'crew' I explain the necessities of securing line.
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Postby GreenLake » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:27 pm

Scott Mulford wrote:I always thought disentangling the anchor rode from the mainsheet was part of the joy of sailing..


+1

Scott Mulford wrote:Halyards I tame by coiling the extra and then tucking it behind the taut line next to the cleat.


This is what it looks like on my boat.
769
You'd think the jib would catch on those bundles, but in fact, it doesn't seem to happen all that frequently.

Scott Mulford wrote:Jibsheets and mainsheets I think to trim only when they are a mess, but otherwise trip and stumble over them most of the time. A quick coil only to find them wrapped around my ankles after the first gybe. If alone I work on cussing like a sailor, if I have 'crew' I explain the necessities of securing line.


Spoken like a proper old salt. :)
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Postby ChrisB » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:09 am

I also coil the halyards and lay them between the mast and the taut part of the halyard.

Docklines & fender go in a Rubbermaid tote bin in the cuddy.

I tie the ends of the jib sheets together so I can reach the jib sheet without leaving the windward rail.

Mainsheet is always in my hand. Make sure you have a "Figure 8" stopknot in the end of all sheets to prevent having to re-thread them through blocks underway.
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Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:22 am

Using Bzzz line for my sheets has reduced tangling. Because they are single braid they tend not to kink and lay nice and flat on the cockpit sole.

I can see line bags being a good idea for the halyards. Though, just feeding the halyards tail first onto the cuddy floor works for me.

Tim, how big and what location are your bags for the halyards? I'm guessing you have it set up so that they are pretty easy to feed line into.
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
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Postby TIM WEBB » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:22 am

You can see the halyard bags in this pic, although the boat's not rigged, so the halyards are not visible:

1002

They're about 8" x 8", mesh on the front, nylon duck on the back. The mesh is cut wider at the top to give them some "volume".

I've since removed the hooks and installed snaps on the bags and Snads on the cuddy bulkhead:

http://www.sailrite.com/YKK-SNAD-40mm-A ... Domed-Stud

These Snads are great - I'm using them for the cockpit cover, too, although in a couple places the adhesive wasn't strong enough, and I had to fasten them down with screws ...
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